Ishmael And Andy – Ready Salted – 1973

As near as I can tell this is the first album from both Rev. Ian Smale (Ishmael) and Andy Piercy. As such this is an important album in my After The Fire tentacles project. I read that Andy and Ishmael were very good friends and they did more projects like this at the time. They actually had self released a 45 the year before this album but strangely neither of those tracks made it to this album. This was one of the first releases on Myrrh which was called Myrrh Gold at the time. Side 2 of the album might have been recorded live or perhaps just had applause mixed in I’m not sure. Anyway the album mainly consists of them each on an acoustic guitar. As for style it leans more toward Ishmael’s style with a heavier folk influence. The intro track is also probably the best track on the album. Anyway so here’s where two of my favourite artists started out. Also note that Ishmael re released the album on CD at some point and added a 12th track which we have included.

1 – Salt & Light Company – 3:35
2 – Psalm 139 Vs 6-12 – 4:35
3 – Paddy – 5:00
4 – Son Of God – 2:58
5 – Who Is He? – 4:35
6 – Hallelujah Chorus – 3:07
7 – We Got Jesus,We got Joy – 2:36
8 – Schitzo – 2:57
9 – Charisma – 2:50
10 – All Gods Children – 2:16
11 – I’m So Happy – 4:07
12 – The Lords Army – 1:34

Design, Photography – Bernard A Cope
Engineer – Lea Nicholson, Nic Kinsey
Engineer [Cutting] – John Wadley
Performer – Andy Piercy, Ishmael, Littlehampton Youth For Christ
Producer – Bobbie Graham

Randy Matthews – Son Of Dust – 1973

Randy Matthews may be the single most important artist in Christian music that the vast majority of CCM fans have never heard of. Even casual fans of the genre are familiar with randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy, Larry Norman and Love Song, but few can name Randy Matthews. Yet, without Matthews and his early success and ground breaking, the industry that formed may have never stood a chance. After dabbling in Southern Gospel with his father Monty (a founding member of the Jordanaires), Matthews took to a more folk rock approach and began performing in coffee shops and small concert halls building a name for himself as a songwriter and performer. His infusion of dry and biting humor in concert was legendary. As a result, Matthews became the first “rock” act to be signed to a mainline Christian label. Word Record, a label known for spoken work and Southern Gospel acts, signed Matthews and he released his debut. For his next album Word would launch the Myrrh label to provide a platform for the new “Jesus Rock” that was beginning to break through. Matthews would be seen as the “rockiest” with his more blues influenced music and Joe Cocker like rough vocals. The rest of the movement was a little softer, employing a more folk and country driven sound. This would haunt Matthews and ultimately cause a disillusionment with Christian Music. In fact, while touring in support of Son of Dust, Matthews appeared at a large outdoor Christian music festival. The audience was more accustomed to the Love Song acoustic folk style and Randy’s raucous rock cause such an uproar that their instruments were unplugged and were chased off the stage by the crowd. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Matthews would later release an album called “Plugged In” where that story would be recounted. Fans of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison and Larry Norman will find much to appreciate on this album that is now considered a true classic of Jesus Music. On Son of Dust Matthews addresses more political, spiritual and emotional issues than what his contemporaries were willing to look at. Relationships, sin, society and the whole of life are addressed with an honesty that would not be seen very often in the industry until the 1980’s. The album is also noteworthy for the studio version of Matthews most memorable and time tested classic. Didn’t He. The story of the crucifixion is, in this reviewers opinion, the very best contemporary song written on the subject. Matthews emotive and scratchy voice delivers an unforgettable emotional experience. Matthews pounds his acoustic guitar for every time the hammer hits the nail and that sound hits the heart. One cannot listen to this song without some sort of emotional connection. If there is ever a list to be done of the greatest songs in CCM history this must be among the Top 5! Amongst the great albums of Jesus Music history, this is a must have and an unquestionable AYSO!

Contributor – David Lowman

1 – Holy Band – 3:25
2 – The Bad Has Made It Better – 2:45
3 – It Ain’t Easy – 2:42
4 – Mighty Fine – 2:25
5 – Brown Eyed Woman – 4:46
6 – Here I Am – 3:22
7 – On The Road – 2:50
8 – Evacuation Day – 2:30
9 – Didn’t He – 5:40
10 – Pharaoh’s Hand – 3:17

Arranged By – D. Bergen White
Art Direction, Photography By – Bill Grine
Banjo – Robert Thompson
Bass – John Williams, Tommy Cogbill
Drums – Jerry Carrigan, Kenny Buttrey
Engineer – Rex Collier, Rick Horton, Tommy Semmes
Guitar – Billy Sanford, Charlie McCoy, John Christopher, Randy Matthews, Reggie Young
Keyboards – Bobby Wood, David Briggs
Keyboards [Moog] – Rick Powell
Mastered By – Tom Semmes
Percussion – Farrell Morris, Jerry Carrigan
Producer – Billy Ray Hearn
Recorded By – David McKinley, John Brandon
Saxophone – Bill Puett
Steel Guitar – Lloyd Green
Vocals – Bergen White, Billy Ray Hearn, Randy Matthews, Rick Powell
Written-By – Randy Matthews

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Woodland Studios
Mastered At – Woodland Studios

Malcolm & Alwyn – Fool’s Wisdom – 1973

This is the first album from Malcolm & Alwyn but they were actually in a band called The Zodiacs before their conversion to Christianity. This album actually had some of the top session musicians of the time. John Wetton of King Crimson on bass, Rod Edwards and Roger Hand of Edwards Hand on keyboards and percussion, veteran drummer Clem Cattini, and guitarist Mickey Keen of Hudson Ford. Pretty good for a Jesus album from 2 guys that hadn’t even been recorded before. The album is excellent if listened to from an early 70’s ear. For that genre and time period this is probably one of the best Jesus music albums of the period.

1 – Say It Like It Is – 3:30
2 – Fool’s Wisdom – 3:04
3 – Tomorrow’s News – 3:30
4 – Growing Old – 3:53
5 – Things Are Getting Better – 3:24
6 – Heaven Or Hell – 3:46
7 – Seed Of Corn – 2:57
8 – The World Needs Jesus – 3:38
9 – Always On My Mind – 2:05
10 – It’s Here The Answer Lies – 4:46

Arranged By [String And Woodwind Arrangements] – Chris Gunning
Autoharp, Lead Vocals – Malcolm Wild
Bass – John Wetton
Drums – Clem Cattini
Electric Guitar – Mickey Keen
Engineer – Denny Bridges, Jack Clegg
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Alwyn Wall
Keyboards, Percussion – Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Producer – John Miller*, Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Written-By, Liner Notes – Alwyn Wall, Malcolm Wild

Companies, etc.
Printed By – Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd.
Produced For – Key Records

The Archers – The Archers – 1973

This is the inaugural album from The Archers. At this point they were just brothers Steve and Tim along with Nancy Short. It was originally self release in 1972 but this is the commercial release a year later on Impact/Heart Warming Records. The brothers started out singing in their Fathers church in the mid 60’s. but by the early 70’s they were touring and even played EXPLO ’72 in Dallas, Texas to a crowd of 250 thousand. Most of the tracks on the album were written by Billy Masters who also played guitar on the album. “God’s Love” and “Jesus Is The Answer” both reached #1 on the CCM charts which is pretty good for your first album. As for my view on he album I actually think it’s pretty good. Normally I’m not a big fan of The Archers as they are a little too easy listening for me but quite frankly given the time period this is a really good album and strangely I think this will go down as my favourite from them.

1 – God’s Love – 4:12
2 – I’ve A Friend – 3:19
3 – Put On Jesus – 2:27
4 – Life In Jesus – 3:05
5 – It Won’t Be Long – 3:47
6 – As Long As I Know – 4:01
7 – Basically Roamin’ – 3:55
8 – Jesus Is The Answer – 3:24
9 – God’s Throne – 2:12
10 – For Me, For You – 5:00

Arranged By – Clark Gassman
Art Direction – Bob McConnell
Bass – Tim Jaquette
Drums – Tim Short
Engineer – Ami Hadami
Guitar [Uncredited] – Billy Masters
Keyboards – Tim Johnson
Photography By – Bill Grine
Producer – Gary Archer
Vocals – Nancy Short, Steve Archer, Tim Archer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Impact Records

The Latinos – His Song – 1973

The Latinos started out as The Four Latinos with four members of the Velasquez family. They released 2 albums in the 60’s using that name before settling on The Latinos. This is their 6th album with all but 1 of those albums being released on their own label including this one. The band’s first album was in 1964 and the continued putting out albums well into the 80’s. Strangely they never had a CCM charting single. I suspect this is because they mainly self released their work and CCM magazine basically ignored anything not on one of the “accepted” labels. Anyway, this is a great worship oriented album from a band that really should have been as popular as The Imperials. If you are unaware of this band they certainly should be listened to.

1 – His Song – 4:20
2 – What A Wonderful Life – 2:03
3 – Shine My Light – 2:52
4 – Love Is Just A Passing Thing – 2:43
5 – Let’s Take A Stand For Jesus – 2:10
6 – My Tribute (To God Be The Glory) – 4:00
7 – Since I’ve Met Christ – 3:35
8 – Somebody Told Me – 2:41
9 – If God Ruled Your Heart – 3:32
10 – Give Me More Of Jesus – 3:55

Arranged By – Fred Crane
Bass – Harold Velasquez
Congas – Leroy Velasquez
Drums – Chuck Kenyon
Engineer – Phil York
Keyboards – Judy Romero
Lead Guitar – Mike Velasquez
Management – Eddie Velasquez
Producer – Eddie Velasquez
Timbales – Leroy Velasquez

Randy Stonehill – Get Me Out Of Hollywood – 1973/1999

This album is often referred to as Randy’s lost album. Recorded in the UK in 1973 Randy had either 10 or 20 copies pressed depending on which story you read. It then sat lost until 1999 when Larry Norman got the rights to it and rereleased it on CD along with an extra track. What we have here is a pretty typical Randy album. Mainly he plays his acoustic guitar and as is to be expected from Randy several of the tracks have a strong humour element. The tracks are not directly CCM and apparently Randy was trying to put together a collection for the secular market. I actually think it could have done well in the early 70’s in the U.K. but I guess it just never got a pressing deal with a label. If you are a fan of Randy’s quirky fun side this album is definitely for you.

1 – Get Me Out Of Hollywood – 2:52
2 – Back To California – 3:54
3 – Lately Mary – 2:06
4 – Jamey’s Blues – 3:36
5 – Puppet Strings – 4:26
6 – Strange Youth – 3:45
7 – Strangest Feeling – 2:56
8 – East Coast Lady – 3:09
9 – One Man’s Blues – 2:53
10 – Vegetables – 2:45
11 – Blind Minstrel – 3:24

Arranged By [Brass Arranged By] – Roger Ball
Arranged By [Strings Arranged By] – Del Newman
Arranged By, Producer [Produced By] – Jon Miller, Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Bass Guitar – Bruce Lynch
Drums – Chris Karan, Clem Cattini (tracks: 2, 5)
Electric Guitar – Bob Wilson
Engineer – Bill Price
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Gareth Edwards
Graphics, Photography By, Layout, Liner Notes – Larry Norman
Harmony Vocals [Harmonies] – Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Rod Edwards
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Randy Stonehill
Pedal Steel Guitar – B.J. Cole
Percussion – Ray Cooper, Tony Carr (tracks: 2)
Written-By [All Songs Written By] – Randy Stonehill

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Triumvirate, Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Solid Rock Records
Distributed By – Solid Rock Records
Record Company – Solid Rock Productions, Inc.
Recorded At – Air Studios

Phil Keaggy – What A Day – 1973

This was Keaggy’s first solo album. He had cut 3 albums with Glass Harp but left in 1972 as “…spiritually we were going different directions” Keagy said. Keaggy wrote all the songs on this album while he was still with Glass Harp and I’m just guessing but I would guess these are the songs that were rejected by the rest of that band. Phil also played all the instruments on this album, a little rare for a first album. Most record companies missed the cost savings that his would offer. Anyway the album was released and sold relatively well but not well not enough for Keaggy to be a headliner and instead he toured in support of other artists like Love Song, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Paul Clark, and Nancy Honeytree. Keaggy continues to play the title track to this day in his concerts.

1 – This Is What The Lord Will Do For You – 2:54
2 – King Of The Jews – 2:04
3 – Walking With Our Lord – 4:17
4 – A Time And A Place – 2:44
5 – Rejoice – 4:45
6 – What A Day – 4:50
7 – Now I Can See – 5:08
8 – Behold All Things Become New – 1:18
9 – Hallelujah – 4:41
10 – I Will Sing – 3:23

Design – Linny Cobb
Engineer, Co-producer – Gary Hedden
Photography By – Bob Combs
Producer, Written-By, Arranged By, Performer – Phil Keaggy

Companies, etc.
Pressed By – United Sound (3)
Copyright (c) – New Song Productions
Phonographic Copyright (p) – New Song Productions

Larry Norman – (almost) So Long Ago The Garden (but not quite) and the MGM Singles – 1980

So Long Ago The garden was part 2 of Larry’s famous trilogy, set between Only Visiting This Planet and In Another Land.

In 1980, Phydeaux released something called “(almost) So Long Ago The Garden and the MGM singles”

This pressing has most of the same tracks as the original 1973 album, but there are a few differences:
1. “Up In Canada” is included, which was a radio single, but not part of the original album
2. “Christmastime” incldues a short intro by some sort of circus entertainer from the sound of it
3. The order of various tracks is changed. “Christmastime” leads of the album instead of “Fly Fly Fly”
3. “Peacepollutionrevolution” is included, which was not on the original album
4. “It’s The Same Old Story” is called “The Same Old Story” on this version
5. “The Same Old Story” is on both records, but with different lyrics
6. “Meet Me At The Airport (Fly Fly Fly)” is just called “Fly Fly Fly” on this version


1 – Christmastime
2 – Fly Fly Fly
3 – She’s A Dancer
4 – The Same Old Story
5 – Baroquen Spirits
6 – Up In Canada
7 – Be Careful What You Sign
8 – Lonely By Myself
9 – Peacepollutionrevolution
10 – Nightmare

Larry Norman – So Long Ago The Garden – 1973

This is the 20th anniversary edition of the CD, released in 1993. Being one of Larry’s seminal works, there were many versions of this album released, including at least two other CD releases with different bonus tracks. There were several vinyl versions released as well, including “Almost So Long Ago The Garden” which had only the highlights from this album, plus some other tracks added.

So Long Ago The Garden is part 2 of Larry’s trilogy, between Only Visiting This Planet and In Another Land. These three albums contain a big part of his life’s work, and we find that compilations and live albums tend to draw on these three heavily.

It opens with “Fly Fly Fly” which is a song about the jet-set lifestyle of a rock star, in which he talks about having to leave his wife while away on trips. “Fly Fly Fly / My baby gets me high / I spend too much time in taxicabs / Please don’t ask me why”

Truthfully, Larry didn’t like to be asked “why” on certain things, so this song is probably more honest than it seems in a few places.

It opens with “I took a plane to Minnesota / To see my lady love” but in a live recording, it was captured as “To see my Pamela,” which is a reference to his wife at the time. Perhaps this song was meant to be a reassurance to her.

Same Old Story has a few different versions floating around. There are different studio recordings of it with different lyrics, all released in the 1970s. The differences are from things like “You hope she doesn’t break your heart” changed to “You know she’s gonna break your heart.”

Lonely By Myself became a classic for a lot of fans. As the title suggests, it’s one that is easier to listen to alone.

Notably, Soul Survivor was one track that isn’t included on all versions of the vinyl pressing, but it is on the original and on the CD re-releases.

The cover of this album went through some revisions. It’s a cut-out of Larry, essentially a silhouette, but filled in with a lion lying down, and the colour of the lion scene was close enough to a skin tone that people decided this might be a nude picture. It’s not really a picture at all, it’s an outline, and anyway it’s only from the waist up. The cover was changed for the benefit of sales in Bible bookstores, and then eventually the re-issues used the original cover again.

This one is Larry in his prime, and should not be missed.

1 – Fly Fly Fly
2 – It’s The Same Old Story
3 – Lonely By Myself
4 – Be Careful What You Sign
5 – Baroquen Spirits
6 – Christmastime
7 – She’s A Dancer
8 – Soul Survivor
9 – Nightmare #71
CD Bonus Tracks
10 – If God Is My Father (Rough Mix)
11 – Up In Canada (1973 Single)
12 – Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn (Demo)

Acoustic Guitar – Randy*
Acoustic Guitar [12 String Epiphone], Classical Guitar [Segovia], Piano [Steinway Piano], Electric Piano – Larry Norman
Backing Vocals – The Hollywood Street Choir
Bass – Dave*
Drums – Mike*
Guitar [Lead Guitar] – Mick*
Harmonica – Graham*
Percussion – Roger, Tony
Piano – Bob*
Piano [Steinway Piano], Organ [C3 Hammond Organ], Electric Piano [Wurlitzer Electric Piano], Clavinet [Hohner Clavinet], Synthesizer [Mini-moog Synthesizer] – Rod*
Producer – Jon Miller (4), Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Saxophone – Malcolm, Roger
Violin – Graham*
Written-By – Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill (tracks: B1)